| UNIVERSAL MUSIC-EMI DEAL APPROVED BY AUSTRALIAN REGULATORS WITH NO DIVESTMENTS: Australia's competition and consumer commission has given the thumbs-up to Universal Music's planned purchase of EMI Music without divestments. The news came as a disappointment to Australian Independent Record Labels Association which expressed concern over the new entity's large market share.
| ANSCHUTZ COMPANY TO SELL AEG: Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz has put privately held AEG on the block for $7 billion, sources tell Billboard.biz. The massive sports and entertainment firm, the second largest concert promotions business, which grossed nearly $798 million in 2011, has "multiple suitors." Anschutz Company has retained as financial advisors Blackstone Advisory Partners.
BEYONCE, JAY-Z RAISE $4 MILLION FOR OBAMA IN NEW YORK: After an appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman" in New York on Tuesday, President Barack Obama picked up a cool $4 million at a fundraiser hosted by Jay-Z and Beyoncé at the 40/40 Club. One hundred donors in suits and dresses sat on sofas in a large, dark glassy room at Jay-Z's exclusive club, according to a pool report. Each paid $40,000 to attend the event.
CENTURY MEDIA FILES LAWSUITS AGAINST MORE THAN 7K ILLEGAL METAL DOWNLOADERS: A Hackensack, New Jersey-based attorney representing, amongst other companies, Century Media, "has filed 17 suits in U.S. District Court in Newark, alleging copyright infringement by more than 14,000 file swappers." Those suits include 3,136 people who illegally downloaded Lacuna Coil's Dark Adrenaline and 4,327 people who illegally downloaded Iced Earth's Dystopia. As of this writing, these are "John Doe suits," which means the illegal downloaders are identified only by their IP addresses...for now.
THE FACEBOOKIFICATION OF TWITTER: Twitter is starting to look and feel more like Facebook. Twitter.com is putting a greater emphasis on photos and other media elements such as Twitter Headers and Cards, which lets let third parties bulk out their 140-character messages with logos, images and additional text. The social platform is trying to make the experience of using Twitter consistent across the board in moves that are seen as attempting to attract more advertising.
PRINCE ROYCE SUED BY TOP STOP FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT: Rising bachata star Prince Royce, the most successful new Latin act in recent years, has been sued for breach of contract and unjust enrichment by his label and publishing company, indie Top Stop Music and Top Stop Music Publishing. The complaint, filed September 14 in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in Florida's Miami-Dade County, is the latest in a back-and-forth between attorneys for Royce ( real name Geoffery Royce Rojas) and Top Stop that, according to documents included in the suit, goes back to November 2011.
MEDIA CHIEFS FORM VENTURE TO E-PUBLISH: Two powerful entertainment moguls, Scott Rudin, the film and theater producer, and Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, are joining together to enter the turbulent world of book publishing. Mr. Rudin and Frances Coady, a longtime publishing executive, have formed a partnership with Mr. Diller in a new venture called Brightline. It will publish e-books and eventually physical books in a partnership with Atavist, a publisher based in Brooklyn with expertise in producing electronic books and articles.
New York Times
REVERBNATION EXPANDS PROMOTE IT AD PLATFORM TO PREMIUM MUSIC SITES: ReverbNation has chosen to broaden the platform to extend beyond Facebook and allow users to utilize display ads targeting sites like MTV, Pitchfork, Billboard, YouTube, Pandora, and more. ReverbNation introduces this expansion of PROMOTE IT as "Major Artist Marketing on an Indie Budget" and feels that now any indie artist can get the same marketing treatment as a major artist by targeting a band's ads to some of the top music websites on the web.
WILL.I.AM DEVELOPING AN 'AMERICAN IDOL' FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY GENIUSES: In his keynote remarks at Amsterdam's IBC technology conference last week, will.i.am, the musician, producer, outspoken political activist and proud science nerd admitted that the talent pool for star-caliber vocalists on shows like "American Idol," "The X Factor" and "The Voice" -- all three of which he has worked with -- is rapidly dwindling -- so maybe it's time for something else. A rep for will.i.am confirmed the show is in development, but that it's " a bit early." Recently, will.i.am teamed with NASA to debut his solo track, "Reach for the Stars," on the surface of Mars.